Monday, December 12, 2005


I write this with mixed feelings. A heavy heart, some apprehension and suppressed relief.

I'm sure by now, most of you would have read about the racial riots in some suburbs of Sydney (see pics here). To hear the names of some suburbs that I've come to know quite well being quoted as seriously affected areas is certainly unsettling. I had driven through some of them whilst learning how to drive way back in May-August 2003.

I also recall a student affairs officer recommending the Cronulla Beach to me. I had asked her casually then (late 2003) which tourist spot in Sydney is her favourite when we were on a bus together on a day-trip to the Blue Mountains. For two years, paying the beach a visit have since been on my mind, especially after I found out it is reachable by train. This has most definitely put paid to that idea.

Indeed, this isn't the first riot that has taken place in Sydney during my three year stay here. Back in early 2004, there was another riot in a suburb known as Redfern (see pics here). The current riot seems more serious than the one of 2004. It also seems to be of a different nature.

I just saw the pictures of the riots on the evening news. Yes, they were shocking. Yes, they were disgusting. Yes, they were saddening. But you know what is it about those pictures that worry me the most?

It is that the people taking part in the riots were mostly youths or young adults, i.e. there is a non-zero probability that the country's next generation of leaders may be amongst them.

Another more short term worry is there is a chance that these riots will flare up again tonight, growing into a series of riots across Sydney.

Finally, as if I needed further convincing, I am oh so going back to Singapore once my work here is done.

A hopefully 109 peaceful days to go.


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